Risotto is a beautiful dish….if prepared correctly. Wait, let me clarify – it’s a beautiful dish but usually tastes decadently creamy and mild, the first forkful almost melting in your mouth. My adaption had waaay too much tang!
Why is that, you may ask? I broke the rules by not reading through the recipe and then checking the pantry for all the specified goods. That’s very, very important. Below I have the recipe for the risotto which ought to have been served with the grilled grouper.
This isn't a failure as much as a good learning experience. This is a dish I prepared after reading the novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Review is at Novel Meals Here. (There aren't recipes in this book, for what that's worth)
Ok, here is where I got off track....so don't do this part:
First off, I swore I had a large bag of Arborio rice in the pantry. I did not. With the charcoal being prepared for the grill and me having approximately 40 minutes total to produce the risotto we had our mouths set for….I decided to proceed anyway and use plain old long grain rice. (smacks head)
As most of us know, long grain rice and Arborio rice cook up quite differently. It absorbs broth, wine, liquid at diverse rates requiring far less liquid for the long grain than you would for the Arborio. In my haste, I started it all and used the measured 2 cups of wine instead of mixing broth and wine together (to equal 2 cups total).
The end result was a tangy risotto……..fine for the first few forkfuls but increasingly sharp and strong the more you ate. Too much wine. (Did I actually say that?....huh.) Prepared as directed (below) or adjusting your palate to have a regular-Joe-rice-side rather than Italian risotto is my advice. Do one or the other. If you don’t have all the ingredients, make something else. Some adaptions are grand….this one was not. A side dish for one meal and unfortunately the rest was scrapped.
Grade on this one – Fail. Not an epic fail because that would mean it was inedible.
Recipe below, probably delicious and creamy….as risotto ought to be.
Rose and White Wine Risotto
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups Italian rice (arborio works well)
2 cups white wine (I used ½ cup Rose and 1 ½ cups South African white wine)
3 cups simmering vegetable stock or water, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Chop the onion, celery and garlic cloves.
In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil; Add the onion, garlic, celery, thyme, and red pepper flakes…cooking over low to medium heat, stirring frequently.
Let the vegetables cook slowly so the onion appears translucent. This will take roughly 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your stovetop..
Add the rice and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, gently toasting the rice.
Add the wine and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer: Cook for about 5 minutes until the rice has absorbed almost all the wine.
Add 1 cup stock and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid..
Continue adding the simmering liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is tender but firm.
The total cooking time of the rice should not exceed 15 minutes. The rice should have movement but no excess liquid.
Season with salt and pepper; Remove from heat. Toss fresh parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.